This blog sits in the corner of my mind’s eye, lurking, waiting. Finally, I have an easy outlet for that which percolates inside of me and I allow it to sit forlorn, empty, yet filled with potential. It feels like me. Not that I have been empty. It’s hard to share when you’re rethinking your beliefs, your assumptions and trying to figure where life is leading you now. Among the things I have been doing, besides teaching, is gearing up to fund raise for this summer’s Rainbow and travel’s. But more importantly, I have been tuning in to other’s; trying to pick up new knowledge, insights and information as well as receive inspiration that there is still an imperative to make a contribution to life.

In this light, I post below, the thoughts of one of my most critical teacher’s on this day. He is extraordinary human being, as gentle and sensitive and deep and loving as you could one to be. He validates me through his own struggle for truth and righteousness in a world that blows us away at an ever accelerating pace. Regardless of politics, I share this with you, just to touch your hearts as mine has been touched and opened as he has opened mine. I post this in thanks and gratitude to him. He knows who he is.

Before I do, I just noticed that this is the my 40th post. Today is the 40th Anniversary of the Unification. We lived 40 years in the desert. Moses lived 40 years as a prince in Pharoh’s house and then 40 year in the desert before G-d called him and then 40 year’s again in the desert as the Leader of the Jewish People.

Hmmm….40….must be significant; mean something. And now…..

Yom Yerushalyim 5767. So different from any other year. Despite my plans, I fall asleep for the first half of the night. And then woke up to walk in the middle of the night to the Old City. We had arranged to meet – a few of us from the Yeshiva – on the steps above the Kotel at 3AM. I got there around 2 and it was so empty – only a few people walking around. And I am filled with tremendous longing. Having felt nothing on the walk over, it filled me unexpectedly. And the tears… tears of longing for that which we have not reached yet, tears of pain for those who are disconnected from this day, tears of being overwhelmed and awed by Am Yisrael and the tremendous expressions which our return as a people to Yerushalyaim and Har Habayit manifest, and how so many people don’t know, are blocked from feeling, for whom this day is at best a nothing of a day, and worse – a day of discomfort, and misunderstood political meaning.

I cannot avoid all the struggle that people around me have with the painful political social reality of Israel, of the conflict and differing perspectives of what 1967 meant, and how much do we care about anything in Chevron, and Gush Etzyon, and the Shomron and Gush Katif, and of course that “mountain of conflict”- Har Habayit. And is it truly worth the pain it has caused on all sides?. I have a clear perspective of it – that I hold to be true even as I strive to learn more – but it does not invalidate, or dismiss the strong sentiments many of our people feel who have never connected to land as holy, to a sense of Am Yisrael’s unequivocal interconnection with these lands, to any awareness of what value “owning” them, living on them, fighting for them, struggling with other people over them might have. Or who do not want to pay the price – physical, moral, spiritual.

I respect the struggle, and yet… the power, the unbelievable greatness of the yearnings of our people, the ruach embodied in the sweeping events, the universality of Knesset Yisrael, the holiness and soul-openingness of the place I am so close to now – the meaning of which we can hardly touch – of these I think and all else is dwarfed. I think to myself “I take Am Yisrael and all its garbage any day” [with the awareness that we must fix the garbage too], and tears of beyondness come to me. Yerushalayim Habenuyah ce’ir shechubra la yachdav – the city of togetherness – which the gemarra says is not just “reunification” of two sides of a city, but more than this – the unity of Yerushalyim shel mata and yerushalyim shel ma’alah , heaven and earth, the unbelievable potential of spiritual and physical unity- so far from us and yet so palpable if you only open your heart up at the Cotel, or in the Old City. As Shaul David put it, the smell of the rocks – Dom (Silence) of the Rock (s).

And I have so much pain for us who haven’t yet gotten there – Hineh ze metzitz achar cotleinu – Behold He is peeking behind our Wall. And pain for those students/friends of mine who I am waiting for, who may not feel the draw, the power, the meaning. And pain for myself at my inability to give over a minuscule piece of what I feel, I sense. (Looking back I know I must trust G-d on this, though it did not minimize the pain). And so it will remain a yearning that fills and yet has nowhere to go but to G-d. Is it Tisha B’av or Yom Yerushalyim? Does it matter? We must have joy and yet my heart is broken in ten thousand pieces.

And even our expressions of joy – how fractional. Hallel?!! Why are we zocheh? And why aren’t we?

So I share this with you – more as a need for sharing than for having any point. I bless us all to know what Am Yisrael really is, what Yerushalyim shel zahav really is (and not the more brownish feel that you get sometimes, as Eliana put it), to be broken by the yearning and yet be so filled up with it that we give over so much love and hope to our children, to our friends and students and teachers, and to our neighbours, to the Muslims and the Christians, the Arabs who live here, and the visitors. They are waiting for us to be ourselves. It is the same fear of claiming our own that holds us back from giving so much of ourselves to others. Let us have Chessed shebemalhut (today’s sefirah) – Malchut overflowing with love and power to give. And pray for me to know how to give over what I feel and receive what others feel in a way that we can grow.

Most of all, I pray for us to yearn and believe in Yerushalyim meuchedet – truly fully – to have joy in the revelation that has been but never give up the desire for it all.

If I sent this to you, it was intentional and expresses a certain kesher we have, but if it feels truly worth sending it to someone else, I trust you will make good judgement about that.

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